Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It is better to be a child of God than king of the whole world

"Therefore anyone who humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven." (Jesus to his disciples in the book of Matthew)

Gospel text (Mt 11,25-27): At that time Jesus exclaimed:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

Who, amongst us, would not love to become acquainted with the unfathomable mysteries of life? There are enigmas the world's best team of investigators would not even dream of detecting. There is One however before which «there is nothing hidden, (...); nor is anything secret» (Mk 4:22). This is the mystery of the one who calls himself the “Son of man ”, inasmuch He says about himself: «All things have been handed over to me by my Father» (Mt 11:27). He is, in short, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, before which darkness does not exist and for which, night is more luminous than broad daylight.

An Arab proverb says: «If in a pitch black night, a black ant climbs over a black wall, God sees it». There are neither secrets nor mysteries for God. There are mysteries for us, but not for God, before whom, past, present and future are open and dug into, to the last comma.

Quite pleased, the Lord says today: «Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I praise you, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to simple people» (Mt 11:25). Indeed, because no one could pretend to know these or similar hidden secrets, not even by bringing them out of the darkness through exhaustive studies. A little old aged woman who is devout in her faith, without any school experience, will always be more aware about the deep secrets of life than the pretentious scientist that has spent an awful lot of money at reputed universities. Certain science can be achieved only through inner faith, humility and purity of heart. Clement of Alexandria very well wrote: «Night is favourable for mysteries; it is then when our soul —attentive and humble— turns on itself while pondering over its condition; it is then when it finds God».

Naturally, we may wonder, what does it take to “get small” so we can respond appropriately to Jesus today? How do I avoid the danger of being so “wise” or “learned” that I fail to hear Jesus properly? I can only think that it means slowing down, paying attention, recognizing my actual smallness and my de facto dependence on lots of others, especially God the Father. That means spending time alone, in silence, and speaking to my Father who sees in secret. Then and only then will I hear what the Lord is saying.

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